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Nothing is better than stew on a cold winter night. It warms your body and satiate your hunger. In fact, eating it whether its hot or cold outside is not even a question. Its the perfect last course of any meal. If you intend on eating stew regularly, getting a good Stew Pot is critical. The Best Stew Pot should be heavy, beautiful and easy to use. Thankfully, we have many cast iron and even stainless steel options available.
What is a Stew Pot?
A Stew Pot is any pot that is used for making stew. There are quite a few different pot on the market. You can choose from sauce pans, saute pot, saucier and even a frying pan. However, the Best Stew Pots are the traditional Dutch Oven. The are relatively tall with a wide rim. This gives you ample room to make stew and maneuver food.
The stouter two handle design makes it more compact and easy to carry. Where as pots like the sauce pan has a handle that protude outward. While its fine on the stove, it gets in the way at the table. You want something that can fit bot the stove and the table top.
Because Stew Pots are often used on the table, most people want something attractive. The last thing you want is some cheap looking pot on the center. There are a few option to choose from, those enamel cast iron will usually be the best choice. However, if you have a more modern and sleek kitchen, stainless steel can be used as well.
Keeping Food Hot
Since these pots will be used both for cooking and serving, you want something heavy. The heavier it is, the better it will be at keeping the stew hot. Lighter pan like Aluminum might heat up faster, but that also means it will cool down faster.
Another benefit of a heavy pot is for deep frying. The heavier the pot, the least likely the temperature will drop when frying. A constant steady temperature is important for good result.
Generally the 7 qt models are the best. However, they are big and take up quite a bit of space. For most family, the 5-6 qt models are suitable. They are more affordable and easy enough to maneuver. If you can, get the 7 qt one, but the 5 qt models are good middle of the road option.
Stock Pot vs Stew Pot
Sometimes there are confusion on what a Stock Pot is. Its a pot designed to specifically make stock. In traditional French Cuisine, the goal of a stock pot is to create stock while limiting evaporation. You can achieve this by limiting the surface area or diameter of the pot.
Since its a waste of energy and money to make small batches of stock. Manufacturer compensate by making the pot tall. This design results in the iconic tall cylindrical pot.
Stew Pots like dutch oven are typically much shorter with a wider diameter. Liquid usually evaporate at a much quicker rate. This is great if you want to make it more thick and create a more flavorful stew.
Best Stew Pot List
Below, you will find a list of someof the Best Stew Pot. There are a few option to choose one, pick one that best suits you.
Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round Dutch Oven (Best Overall)
Le Creuset is one of the most well known cookware in the World. Known for their beautiful color and excellent performance, they reign supreme in the Dutch Oven category. The handle is comfortable and the enamel coating durable. You have a wide range of color to choose from and its one of the few cookware that is made in France. You wont be disappointed with this cookware and it will look great at the kitchen table.
Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven With Loop Handles, 5 qt (Best Bare Cast Iron Stew Pot)
This might surprise most people, but bare cast iron actually performs better than enamel cast iron. Because it does not have any glass coating to inhibit thermal conductivity, it can sear better and heat up faster. The only downside is that if you strip the seasoning, it can start to rust. Another thing to consider is that not all people like how black cast iron looks. It might look great in a cabin, but a modern kitchen, not so much. Nevertheless, this pot perform well and is a great addition to any kitchen. The lid also doubles as a frying pan.
Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven With Stainless Steel Knob and Loop Handles, 6 Quart (Best Buy)
Le Creuset is great, but its also expensive. Thankfully, there are many more affordable option out there. One of which is from Lodge. This pot comes in a few different color and its wide for easy use. The corner are curved for easy stirring and food is unlikely to get trapped. The one downside is that the enamel coating is not as durable and its made in China. However, this does not detract from the performance.
You can basically use any pots for stew. However, the Best Stew Pots are the cast iron model. Particularly the Enamel Cast Iron one. They resist rust and look great in the kitchen. The best are the one made by Le Creuset. However, they are expensive. A good alternative is the enamel one made by Lodge. If you only care about performance, than the bare cast iron model by Lodge is great as well. Its also much more affordable.
Looking for a stock pot, check out our article on the Best Stock Pot.